Days after the president announced the United States would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the Trump Administration hosted its first White House Hanukkah party. Hundreds of guests were in attendance, excluding disinvited congressional Democrats and Jewish leaders who’ve been critical of the president, The New York Times reports.
The celebration carried over to the Trump International Hotel for a “Hanukkah Nightcap” after-party, hosted by the Republican Jewish Coalition. Here, guests dined on egg salad, fish roe, fried latkes, and salmon. Both of the Jewish Republicans in Congress — Lee Zeldin of New York and David Kustoff of Tennessee — were there, but Jewish Democratic members of Congress — of which there are 27, not including former Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders, who is an independent — were nowhere to be found.
A number of notable Jewish community leaders who have received invites to the gathering in the past also did not make the cut, including a number of rabbis and activists who have been critical of the administration’s policies.
“It’s deeply unfortunate that the White House Hanukkah Party — a bipartisan event bringing together Jewish and non-Jewish leaders alike to celebrate the Festival of Lights since 2001 — has turned into a partisan affair under this administration,” Nita M. Lowey, a representative from New York, told The Times.
All in all, the guest list was reduced drastically. In the past, presidents have hosted on average 1,700 people over the course of two parties. Trump’s soiree only included 300 guests. A spokesperson for first lady Melania Trump claims the move was meant to make the event “more personal than political."
The commander in chief doesn’t seem to like dealing with criticism — but how did he like the latkes? For more on 45’s refined food tastes, here’s a complete guide to Donald Trump’s favorite foods.